What are some summer safety tips that can protect your family?
Summer is finally here, and for your kids, this is the best time of the year! But for you and many other moms out there, summer presents a whole host of new worries to think about. Whether you have a baby or older children, there are bound to be summer activities that have you second-guessing yourself.
Whether your family is going to the pool, hiking, camping, gardening, vacationing, or participating in general summer fun, it’s helpful to have a few summer safety tips in your back pocket that can help you rest easier.
I know you want to enjoy your summer as a family to the full extent — the last thing you want to be doing is stressing about too much sun, bug bites, or dehydration, right? So, throw your sunglasses on, kick back, and relax… ‘cause I’ve got all the summer safety tips your family needs to have a great, safe summer right here.
Water safety above all else
When you think summer, do you think of family fun days at the pool or the beach? Swimming has great health benefits, so rather than fearing exposure to the dangers water can present, be prepared beforehand. Prevention is key here!
- Always be present and aware when your child is in or around a body of water. I know, I know, you’ve been dying to lounge in the sun with a good book. But now is not the time to be focused on your phone, a book, or taking a catnap. Many kids’ water-related accidents can be prevented by someone being with them and paying attention at all times.
- If you are on a raft, inner tube, or boat, your child needs a life jacket. Any open-water swimming, such as lakes, rivers, and oceans requires the use of life jackets, as well. Young children under the age of 5 should wear life jackets anytime they are near or in the water. Even if they are “done” swimming — As long as they’re near the water, the life jacket should stay on.
- Be sure to talk with your kids about water safety. Communicate the importance of being safe when in or around bodies of water. Have a special word or action that your child can yell or do when he’s struggling in the water and needs your help. Remember, something can happen and your child won’t be able to let you know. This is why it’s vital that you stay alert.
Fun in the sun
While there’s no need to avoid the sun altogether, there are a few summer safety tips to help you and your family avoid too much sun exposure.
- Try to plan outdoor activities in the morning or evening when the sun is less intense. UV rays are the most intense during midday, between the hours of 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. Seek shade often when you are in the sun for extended periods of time.
- Little ones are especially sensitive to the sun, so try to avoid being outdoors for prolonged periods if you have a baby under 1. When you are in the sun, dress your baby in a hat that protects the face, head, ears, and neck. Your little one can wear loose clothes that protect the arms and legs from the sun.
- Wear sunscreen! Apply sunscreen with a sun protection factor (SPF) of 30 or higher. Sunscreen should be applied 20-30 minutes before getting into the water and can be reapplied every 2 hours for the best protection. Be sure to talk to your pediatrician before putting sunscreen on your baby. It’s safer to protect your little one from the sun with clothing or shade since their skin is more sensitive to the chemicals found in sunscreen.
Top summer safety tip: drink water!
- This is huge… heatstroke and dehydration are real concerns when it comes to summer safety! If you and your family are outside for long periods, make sure you’re all consuming enough water. Teach your children what dehydration symptoms feel like:
Have them let you know if they experience any of these.
- Your child should be drinking 8 ounces of water per year of life, with the maximum being 64 ounces for 8 years old and up. For example, if you have a 3-year-old, they should be drinking 24 ounces of water a day. Always have water bottles with you wherever you are, and offer them to your children frequently.
- Drinking electrolytes, salt, or lemon in your water can help rehydrate since they help replenish electrolytes lost through sweat.
Safety before play
Summer days with little kids can mean lots of park days. Everyone is excited and as you get to the park, kids are jumping out of the car and running to the playground before you can say anything. They jump on the slide or grab the monkey bars without a second thought and — ouch! Your park day is ruined, and your child now suffers from a painful burn.
- On hot, sunny days, playground equipment can get hot enough to cause 2nd and 3rd-degree burns on children. It’s so important to check before letting your kids jump on a burning-hot playground.
- You may think that if it’s not a very hot day, worrying about the temperature of playground equipment is unnecessary. But if the sun is directly beating down on playground equipment for an extended period of time, your child is still at risk of suffering burns.
Look out for buzzing, biting, and stinging
Whether it’s a backyard barbeque or a hike in the woods, your children are susceptible to ticks, mosquitoes, bees, and more! A few summer safety tips will help avoid painful stings and itchy bites that have your child crying and scratching in misery.
- Bees are attracted to flowers, so avoiding floral clothing and sweet, flowery smells is a good idea. The same goes for mosquitoes — sweet, perfumy smells attract these buzzing little blood-suckers.
- Get rid of long grass and brush piles around your yard, as these are prime spots for ticks to congregate. If ticks are a common nuisance where you are, get in the habit of checking your kids every time they go outside. Finding ticks before they have the chance to latch on is important.
- Make sure there is no standing water around your yard — things like buckets, kiddie pools, and puddles are the perfect places for mosquitoes to breed. When hiking, wear long sleeves and pants to deter mosquitoes.
There you have it: 5 tips for your family’s summer safety in 2022! May this summer be filled with laughter, too many popsicles, and countless moments of memory-making.
Do you have any summer safety tips to share? What has helped you stay on top of summer safety as a mom? Let us know in the comments!